Real Name: Kattan-Tu

Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (Dire Wraith) shape-shifter

Occupation: Patient at the L.A. Valley Clinic

Group Membership: SciWraiths (a division of the Dire Wraith species)

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Hulk (Bruce Banner), and all of humanity

Known Relatives: Wenden and Marag-Tu (biological parents, deceased), Andrew and Janice Sarkan (unofficial adoptive parents)

Aliases: Mark Sarkan

Base of Operations: L.A. Valley Clinic

First Appearance: Incredible Hulk II#262/2 (August, 1981)

Powers/Abilities: As a Dire Wraith, Kattan-Tu possesses the ability to change his shape, color, size and mass so as to become any physical being he may desire (within certain limits). By transforming into an appropriate creature, the Wraith can then use that creature's physical abilities (like flying while in the form of a bird) but he cannot alter his brain/body structure enough to replicate any psionic or paranormal abilities which the being he's imitating may possess.

   As an infant, Kattan-Tu assumed the form of a human baby boy, and he maintained that assumed human form continuously for fifteen years. His ability to assume a human form at such a young age was (presumably) due to the fact that he was still in the cradle when he saw the Sarkans and first imitated them. As he aged, Kattan-Tu's human shell aged and grew in a manner consistent with human growth patterns, from infancy through childhood to adolescence. During the time he spent as a human, "Mark" never displayed any abilities that were inconsistent with a normal human being of his apparent age. The fact that he did not demonstrate such abilities at all during that period suggests that he was unable to do. It may be that he was at that time somehow locked into that human form.

   Kattan-Tu's parents programmed a lot of information into his memory as he lay in his cradle, including knowledge about his Dire Wraith heritage and data on the physiologies of numerous alien species whose forms he would be able to mimic. Also programmed into his memory was the "Kattan-Tu" personality which his parents wanted him to possess. However, separated from his parents (by their deaths) and raised by humans, all of that data remained dormant in his mind until he came of age but the Sarkans were able to suppress those memories with a drug before he could access them.

   Once the suppressed information was accessible, Kattan-Tu was able to assume any of the recorded forms. During his battle with the Hulk, Kattan-Tu switched between five alien forms and was immediately able to utilize all of their respective abilities even though he had never assumed those forms before. Among the abilities which those forms granted him were superhuman strength, a rock-like (and durable?) hide, the ability to shoot needles from his hands with great force, flight, and the ability to generate poison from fangs. All five of these alien forms were much larger than his human form and most were larger and more massive than even the Hulk. See Comments for more information on these alien forms.

   Kattan-Tu could use his shape-shifting abilities to repair certain types of injuries (like broken bones) if he suffered them. It hasn't been revealed what other types of injuries he could "heal" with his metamorphic ability.

   As a Dire Wraith, Kattan-Tu's natural form (which he did not assume during his battle with the Hulk) has a barbed, razor-sharp tongue which he could use to absorb the brains of victims, thereby gaining their memories. However, male Wraiths avoid using their brain-eating ability because they consider it repugnant. Like all Dire Wraiths, Kattan-Tu was hatched from an egg and has a lifespan of well over 200 Earth-years.

Height: Variable (5' 6" [estimated, Mark as a teenager])
Weight: Variable (120 lbs [estimated, Mark as a teenager)
Eyes: Variable (Blue as Mark)
Hair: Variable (Brown as Mark)

(Incredible Hulk II#262/2 (fb) - BTS) - Almost two hundred Earth-years after being driven from Wraithworld by the Spaceknights, two Dire Wraiths named Wenden and Marag-Tu (may have) returned to their homeworld where their son Kattan-Tu was (supposedly) "conceived beneath the Black Sun of the Dark Nebula."

(Incredible Hulk II#262/2 (fb) - BTS) - Wenden and Marag-Tu took their son Kattan-Tu with them as they travelled to Earth aboard a bat-winged Wraith spacecraft. During the journey, the infant Kattan-Tu lay in a "cradle" while "tapes" played information which was programmed into his memory, including knowledge of his Dire Wraith heritage and abilities, and information about various other alien races whose shapes he could assume.

(Rom#17 (fb) - BTS) - The programming that Kattan-Tu received from his cradle included some form of conditioning from the Wraith Elders that "reinforced Wraith evil" in their offspring's young (and vulnerable) mind.

(Incredible Hulk II#262/2 (fb)) <"Fifteen years ago"> - The Wraith starship carrying Kattan-Tu and his parents crashed on the grounds of the L.A. Valley Clinic. Wenden and Marag-Tu died in the crash (if not before) and their bodies immediately decomposed into ashen heaps in their pilot chairs. Dr. Andrew Sarkan and his wife Janice witnessed the crash and raced to the shattered spaceship. While looking around inside it, they discovered the two ashen heaps in front of the control console and then found the cradle holding a crying Kattan-Tu. As the Sarkans discussed how "hideous" the small alien was, their voices calmed Kattan-Tu and, after scanning their features with his eyes, he (instinctively?) changed his form to that of a human baby boy. The Sarkans carried the seemingly-human infant away as the starship self-destructed.

(Incredible Hulk II#262/2 (fb) - BTS) - Afterwards, Kattan-Tu remained human-looking and the childless Sarkans decided to adopt the baby. They named him "Mark" and raised him like any normal Earth child. Since his programmed knowledge remained dormant, Mark Sarkan did not realize that he was not a normal human being.

(Incredible Hulk II#262/2 (fb) - BTS) - Fifteen years later, when Mark had reached puberty, certain physical changes made him suspect a difference between him and his parents. He came to believe that the Sarkans were inhuman aliens who had adopted him. The Sarkans responded by giving him drugs that kept him from discovering what he really was. The Sarkans told the staff at the clinic about their son's "serious psychological problems" to explain why they were keeping him under heavy sedation in a locked room in the lab area of the clinic.



(Incredible Hulk II#262/2) - One day, Mark managed to escape from his locked room. As the panicked boy fled, calling out for help, he accidentally collided with a stranger (Robert Bruce Banner) and fell down. Mark barely managed to get to his feet before the Sarkans arrived and forcibly drugged him. Mark managed to claim that he must have been adopted "because I can't be like them" before losing consciousness. Dr. Sarkan then explained about his son's serious psychological problems and, when "Bruce Franklin" revealed that he had been coming to the clinic to see about a "Help Wanted" ad, agreed to try him out.






(Incredible Hulk II#262/2 (fb) - BTS) - That night, after an overtired Dr. Sarkan forgot to administer the drugs and fell asleep, Mark began to hear "far-off voices in (his) head whispering the truth to (him)," voices that told him he was a Dire Wraith. With his programming activated by the fact that he had "come of age," Mark began to change into the forms of some of the alien races whose appearances had been programmed into his memory when he was an infant. It was while he was doing this he was found by his mother who screamed, waking up her husband, who then (presumably) tried to drug him again.

(Incredible Hulk II#262/2) - Dr. Sarkan was smashed through the door of his son's room by Mark just as "Franklin" arrived. As Sarkan revealed the truth about his son, Mark continued to change from one alien form to another in front of his mother but then seemed to settle on his true form (but it was actually the transitory form of the Dire Wraiths). Although Janice Sarkan tried to keep him in his room, "Mark" managed to push his way out and revealed that he now knew that he was a Dire Wraith. As "Franklin" tried to hold him back, the alien stated that he was "Kattan-Tu, son of Wenden and Marag-Tu, conceived beneath the Black Sun of the Dark Nebula."

   Kattan-Tu then assumed a shape with a rocky red hide and tried to crush "Franklin" but his victim transformed into the Hulk and smashed him away.







   Surprised by this, Kattan-Tu took on a shape that resembled a giant semi-humanoid bipedal porcupine and shot needles from his hand at his foe but the Hulk tore out a chunk of the clinic's outer wall and used it to block the needles.


   Realizing that he wasn't prepared to face such a powerful enemy, Kattan-Tu changed into a giant alien bird-form, flew out through the newly-made hole in the wall and tried to flee but the Hulk leaped up into the night sky and caught him.










   The added weight caused Kattan-Tu and the Hulk to plummet to the ground with great force. Some of Kattan-Tu's bones were broken by the impact but he was able to change into an alien snake-creature with fangs that dripped poison and wrap himself around the Hulk. As Kattan-Tu tried to crush the Hulk, Dr. Sarkan managed to pour a megadose of the sedative into his mouth before being batted away by Kattan-Tu's tail. Growing weak, Kattan-Tu tried to escape in his snake-form but the Hulk held on to his tail and stated that he would smash the "snake-monster." Hearing this, the Sarkans intervened, telling the Hulk that they couldn't stop loving the creature that they had raised as their son "just because he's different, just because he's bad." By now, Kattan-Tu's weakness had caused him to change back into his "true" form and then into his (unconscious) human form. The Hulk told the Sarkans that "puny humans" were crazy because "Boy is Monster" but Dr. Sarkan responded by reminding the Hulk of how dangerous he was and asking him, "Who are you to call my son a monster?!" This question caused the Hulk so much emotional distress that he just leaped away, shouting "HULK is nothing but a MONSTER!"



   Nothing has been revealed about whatever has happened to "Mark Sarkan" and his parents since that night.


(Dark Reign Files#1 - BTS) - At the request of H.A.M.M.E.R. head Norman Osborn, Quasimodo prepared analyses on 189 potential threats. His analysis of the Dire Wraith threat mentioned Mark Sarkan alongside two other Wraiths (Baran and Hybrid) who were later both described as remaining "hidden amongst mankind." What role the Sarkans currently play in his life was not revealed nor was the status of his memories.

Comments: Created by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema.

   In the thirty-five years since the Dire Wraiths first appeared in Rom#1, the real names of only five of them have ever been revealed. "Kattan-Tu" and his parents were the first three, "Kaaris'a" was the fourth (in Rom#39 [February, 1983]), and "Volx" was the fifth (in Nova II#17 [May, 1995]).

Unanswered questions

   Although "Foundling!" is a great story, there were several story elements that would have benefited from more explanation. First, why exactly did a sedative manage to suppress the memories which had been programmed into Kattan-Tu's mind? For that matter, how could Dr. Sarkan have known that using a sedative would work? In the absence of any explanatuion, we readers are just left with the idea that it was sheer luck that the drug the Sarkans chose to use on Mark had the effect that they wanted.

   Second, how exactly was "Mark" able to grow up in the human fashion? Is the Dire Wraith mimickry ability so great that it extends even down to the level of DNA? Do Wraiths actually genetically become the beings they imitate? Or did the programming Kattan-Tu received include complete descriptions of how human beings aged and, although "Mark" was never aware that he was a shape-shifter, his subconscious mind did know and used the data available to it to cause Mark's body to slowly change shape so that he appeared to grow and age in the same way as a normal human being would? The fact that Wraiths were able to duplicate the gross physical powers of the species they imitated suggests the first explanation but the idea that they could duplicate others down to the genetic level seems implausible.

   Third, why did Kattan-Tu, when drugged with a megadose of sedative, ultimately revert to his human form? Previous stories (in Rom#17 and Avengers I#245) had shown that Wraiths who were weak or who had just received a powerful electric shock could sometimes revert to their transitory shape but Kattan-Tu passed through that stage and returned to his human form. The best reason that I can imagine is that a Wraith's transitory form is a sort of default shape, one which, like his true form, he can assume without having to expend any extra energy, and which can vary from Wraith to Wraith. In Kattan-Tu's case, he had spent fifteen years continuously being "Mark" so his human form had become his default setting. Of course, this is mere speculation but I think it makes some sense.

Whatever happened to...?

   I wonder what did happen to "Mark Sarkan" after the events of that night? Did the drugs return him to his "human" self? Or did he regain his memories of his true self a second time and make a more successful escape from the love of his parents? Or maybe he is still sitting there in his locked room under heavy sedation even now? It is known that there were two subsequent events which had major, negative effects on the Dire Wraith population of Earth. The first (in Rom#48) was when the female WitchWraith leaders wiped out their SciWraith "brothers" and took control of the Earth infiltration program. In the aftermath of this coup, it is known that some members of the Sisterhood tracked down and killed a number of male SciWraiths. As the son of two SciWraiths, wouldn't Kattan-Tu have been a likely target? On the other hand, since even he didn't know who he was, it seems unlikely that he could be found.

   The second (in Rom#65) was when the Galadorian Spaceknight Rom ended the Wraith War by using his Neutralizer and the human mutant Forge's Neo-Neutralizer to destroy Wraithworld. With that planet gone, all Dire Wraiths throughout the universe lost not only their sorcerous powers but their shape-shifting abilities as well, causing all female Wraiths to revert to their true forms while all male Wraiths reverted to their transitory forms. This loss of abilities should have affected "Mark" as well and forcibly reverted him to his alien, transitory form, thus exposing him to everyone...unless my speculation about his "default setting" being his human form was valid.

Information about Kattan-Tu's "true form"

   On pages 5-6 of his story, Kattan-Tu appears in what Janice Sarkan calls his "true form" and Kattan-Tu confirms that "it is." However, it's actually NOT the true form of the Dire Wraith species. As established four months earlier in Rom#17, all Dire Wraiths seen so far who had not been in assumed forms had only been depicted in a "transitory shape" that was between their true forms and their "human shells." Wraiths in their true form did not appear until Rom#47 and it was only while doing this profile that I learned that it was because Marvel "sort of" had an agreement with Parker Brothers that they would design the Dire Wraiths but that wasn't done before the comic began to be published. In fact, Parker Brothers never did design a Dire Wraith toy because they quickly lost interest when the Rom toy failed to sell well. As for Marvel, they left the matter alone until Rom's fourth year when editor Ralph Macchio asked Walt Simonson to redesign the Dire Wraiths. Slightly tweaked by Sal Buscema and Akin & Garvey, these "new" Wraiths first appeared in Rom#47.
   So, basically, Kattan-Tu was LYING when he appeared in what he claimed was his "true form." I guess it was easier for writer Bill Mantlo to go that route instead of taking up precious space in order to explain to the readers that Kattan-Tu couldn't appear in his true form because it hadn't been designed yet.

   Thanks to the Rom, Spaceknight Revisited! website for some of this background information.

Similarities to Hybrid (James Marks)

   Mark Sarkan reminds me a lot of James "Jimmy" Marks who first appeared in Rom#17. Mark and Jimmy were both Dire Wraiths who had been in human form since infancy (or birth) and neither of them were aware that they weren't actually human. Both had been raised by loving parents and had grown up as nice, normal boys. Then, when each of them were teenagers, they learned what they truly were and promptly became evil. In a way, what happened to Mark seems like a clarification of something touched upon during Rom's first battle with Hybrid. From his encounter with Jacob Marks, Rom had learned, for the first time, that "Wraiths are made, not born" and that their evil natures were the result of how the Wraith Elders had been deliberately brainwashing their young for generations in order to create servile hordes whom they could control. The programming that Kattan-Tu received as an infant was the first indication of how this conditioning towards evil was accomplished, with an entire "evil" personality being part of the programming. As for Jimmy, the cause of his turn to evil was glossed over but, over fifteen years later, it was revealed that the tutoring he had received from the Wraith Elders had been so traumatic that it had triggered a case of Dissociative Identity Disorder in which his original, good "Jimmy" personality had gone to sleep in his subconscious so that the newly-created, evil "Hybrid" personality could take over. In a sense, the evil beings known as Kattan-Tu and Hybrid are both artifical constructs and thus do not represent "natural" Dire Wraiths.

Descriptions of Kattan-Tu's other five alien forms

   Since none of Kattan-Tu's alien forms were present for long in the story, I thought it better to describe them here in the "Comments" section instead of in the main body of this profile. So, in order of appearance, here they are:

1. Kattan-Tu's "true form" was about 7' tall with pale white skin covering his entire hairless body. A two-armed biped, each of his hands had two large fingers plus an opposable thumb and each foot had only two large toes. His head was much larger than that of an adult human and was not situated above his shoulders with a neck between them. Instead, his head was extended forward and upward from his thorax, with his shoulders actually behind his head, giving him a hunchbacked look. His face had only two eyes and a gaping mouth with no visible nose between them. In this form, Kattan-Tu was strong enough to hurl an adult human through the air with enough force to shatter a closed door and continue on in flight for a dozen feet more.
   While Katan-Tu's infant form, described as "hideous" by the Sarkans, was not fully shown, what could be seen, a hand and a foot, had the same numbers of digits as his mature "true" form. It seems likely that his parents, being SciWraiths, had caused him to change into his transitory form immediately after hatching.

2. Kattan-Tu's rock-monster form (as I'm calling it) was similar to his true form: A two-armed biped that was over 7' feet tall. with three digits on each hand and two on each foot. His head was smaller and higher on his body, although still not on top of his shoulders, and his face had two eyes, no nose and a less-gaping mouth. The most noticeable feature of this form was that his skin appeared to be composed of bright red rock with many blunt spikes protruding from it. Although stronger than an average human, this form was no match for the Incredible Hulk.

3. Kattan-Tu's "needle-monster" form (as the Hulk called him) was significantly larger than even the Hulk. Resembling a bipedal porcupine, his body and tail were covered with brown fur plus brown needles that were close to a foot long and could be fired from his hands (and possibly other parts of his body) at great speed, fast enough to penetrate deeply into concrete. Each hand had three fingers plus an opposable thumb, each foot had three toes, and all 14 digits ended with long, sharp claws. His face wasn't clearly seen but had two eyes and a gaping mouth that seemed to be part of a muzzle, suggesting that he had a nose. His head also had two ears and extended upwards from his shoulders. Although presumably stronger than a human being, Kattan-Tu quickly realized that this form was not powerful enough to face the Hulk.

4. Kattan-Tu's "bird-monster" form resembled a giant bird with a large, pointed horn projecting from his forehead. His body was almost twice as large as that of the Hulk and his wingspan was at least two dozen feet. The feathers on his wings, tail and forehead were orange while the plumage on his body was white. Each foot had three claws, and his head was very bird-like with two eyes situated above a beak. Despite this form's large size, Kattan-Tu was able to fly until the Hulk jumped on him and their combined weight forced them to crash to the ground.

5. Kattan-Tu's "snake-monster" form resembled a very large fuschia-colored snake with multiple blunt projections protruding from his skin. His head was like that of a typical poisonous snake, with two eyes, two nostrils and a gaping mouth with four fangs, two upper and two lower, from which dripped poison. His head was about as wide as the Hulk's head, and his body, which was over a dozen feet long, was just as wide and did not taper until only several feet from the end of his tail. Despite having fangs, this form could wrap himself around his prey and squeeze. Due to the intervention of Dr. Sarkan, who drugged Kattan-Tu while he was squeezing the Hulk, it is not known if this form was strong enough to kill the Hulk (but I consider it unlikely).

   It should be noted that, although Kattan-Tu retained his intelligence and was able to speak while assuming each of these alien forms, it has not been revealed if any of these alien species (aside from Dire Wraith) were naturally sentient or if any of them would be capable of speaking English (or of even speaking).

It should be noted that Volx is listed among the deceased Dire Wraiths in Dark Reign Files when she actually turned up alive in the Annihilators mini-series a few years later. So, Quasimodo can get some of his facts wrong.

Profile by Donald Campbell.

Kattan-Tu has no known connections to

The Sarkan family has no known connections to

Andrew and Janice Sarkan

   Dr. Andrew Sarkan and his wife Janice are a married human couple who (unofficially?) adopted a child who was (secretly) a member of the shape-shifting alien species known as the Dire Wraiths.

   One night, fifteen years earlier, Janice Sarkan was with her husband Andrew at the L.A. Valley Clinic where he worked when they both witnessed a strange bat-winged spacecraft crash on the clinic gounds. Instead of calling the authorities, the Sarkans chose to approach the wreck and enter it. After finding two heaps of ash in chairs in front of the alien control console, the Sarkans heard something crying and found a small and hideous alien in what appeared to be a cradle. Upon hearing their voices, the alien stopped crying, scanned their features with its eyes and then changed into a seemingly-human baby boy. Since the alien now appeared to be a human infant, the Sarkans' hearts went out to it and they removed it from the spacecraft before it self-destructed.

   Since the alien remained human-looking and the Sarkans were childless, they decided to adopt the baby and raise him like any normal Earth child. The Sarkans named their new son "Mark" and for over a decade they all lived a perfectly normal life. At some point, Andrew was promoted to being the administator of the L.A. Valley Clinic.

   Unfortunately, physical changes which Mark experienced at puberty made him suspect that he was different from his parents. Unaware of his true origins, Mark naturally assumed that, since he was human, then his parents must be aliens. Concerned about what would happen to their son if he (or anyone else) learned the truth, the Sarkans began to give Mark drugs which kept him from remembering who and what he was. At the same time, they told the staff at the clinic about their son's "serious psychological problems" and that the panic Mark was experiencing from these delusions was so severe that they had to keep him under heavy sedation and locked in a room at the clinic while Dr. Sarkan "searched for a cure."

   On one occasion, Mark managed to escape from the clinic but the Sarkans followed close behind him and when he bumped into a stranger they caught up to him and drugged him. When "Bruce Franklin" revealed that he had been coming to the clinic in response to its "help wanted" ad, Dr. Sarkan quickly agreed to try him out without asking for any references (presumably to keep him from asking questions about how they were treating their son).

   Not long after that, Dr. Sarkan, exhausted from having to constantly watch Mark, forgot to administer the drug to Mark before going to sleep. Without the drugs, Mark's suppressed memories were released and he finally remembered what he really was and began to change from one alien form to another. When Janice Sarkan witnessed this, she screamed, awakening her husband who (presumably) tried to drug Mark again. However, with his newfound abilities, Mark resisted forcefully enough that Andrew Sarkan was hurled away with enough force that he shattered the door of his son's room. Found by Franklin, Andrew revealed the truth about his son even as Janice tried to keep him in his room. When Franklin urged her to get her husband out of danger while he tried to stop Mark, Janice complied. Once Andrew had recovered somewhat and grabbed a megadose of the sedative, the Sarkans went after their son, found him locked in a death-duel with the Hulk and realized that "Bruce Franklin" had actually been Bruce Banner. Andrew managed to pour the sedative down the throat of the "snake-monster" that was (then) his son but was knocked back by his son's tail after doing so. As the drug weakened the alien and the Hulk stated his intention to smash him, the Sarkans pleaded with the Hulk to not strike a killing blow. Andrew told the Hulk that he and his wife had raised the creature as their son, and Janice stated that they couldn't "stop loving him just because he's different...just because he's bad." As the Sarkans held their now-unconscious son, who was back in his human form, the Hulk stated that "puny humans" were crazy because "Boy is Monster" but Dr. Sarkan responded by pointing out that the Hulk's fists could level a mountain, his rage caused cities to tremble in fear and he destroyed all he laid his hands on, then asked who was the Hulk to call their son a monster?! This question caused the simple-minded Hulk so much emotional agony that he just leaped away, shouting "HULK is nothing but a MONSTER!"

--Incredible Hulk II#262/2 (262/2(fb), 262/2)

L.A. Valley Clinic

   A clinic located in the city of Los Angeles, California. Dr. Andrew Sarkan is a long-time employee.

   Fifteen years ago, a strange bat-winged alien spacecraft crashed on the clinic grounds (presumably at night). Dr. Sarkan and his wife Janice were the only witnesses and they chose to investigate the wreck instead of immediately notifying the authorities. After discovering the only survivor, a small alien who had transformed into a seemingly-human male infant before their eyes, the Sarkans removed the child from the starship just before it self-destructed. Once they decided to adopt the child themselves, the Sarkans presumably kept quiet about what they had witnessed. It is not known how the crater left by the crash and self-destruction of the alien spaceship was explained.

   As the years passed and the Sarkans raised their son, Mark, Dr. Sarkan eventually became the administrator of the clinic. Then, when Mark reached puberty, he developed the idea that his parents weren't his (biological) parents and that he must have been adopted because they were different from him and therefore must be inhuman aliens. The Sarkans informed the clinic staff about their son's serious psychological problems, and they began to keep him under heavy sedation in a locked room in the clinic's lab area.

   At one point, Mark managed to escape from the clinic but he was caught by his parents after (literally) running into a stranger. He was taken back to the clinic where he was again heavily sedated and locked in his room.

   One night, not too long afterwards, an exhausted Dr. Sarkan forgot to administer the drugs which suppressed Mark's memories and fell asleep. Mark was soon able to remember all the information that had been programmed into his mind. When Dr. Sarkan tried to stop him, Kattan-Tu hurled him away with such force that he shattered the door of his romm. Later, during his battle with Kattan-Tu, the Hulk ripped a large chunk out of an outer wall of the clinic. Kattan-Tu was defeated and the Hulk leapt away before the clinic was damaged any further.

--Incredible II#262 (262 (fb), 262)

Wenden and Marag-Tu

   Wenden and Marag-Tu were two Dire Wraiths who were the parents of a male Dire Wraith named Kattan-Tu.

   Fifteen years ago, an alien starship crashed on the grounds of the L.A. Valley Clinic. Dr. Andrew Sarkan and his wife Janice were the only two humans to investigate the wreck before it self-destructed. The Sarkans found two heaps of ash in chairs in front of the alien control console and then a small alien in what appeared to be a cradle. The Sarkans concluded that "the ashen remains...had obviously been (the baby's) parents" and they removed the child before the starship self-destructed.

   Fifteen years later, when Kattan-Tu came of age, he became able to access the information about his heritage that had been fed into his memory as he lay in that cradle. Among the facts which he learned was his real name, the names of his real parents, that he had been conceived beneath the Black Sun of the Dark Nebula, and that all of this information came from tapes that had been played to him as his parents fled through space.

   Aside from these facts, nothing more is known about Wenden and Marag-Tu. However, some reasonable assumptions can be made about them:
1. The fact that the two ashen heaps were found sitting in their chairs indicates that they died in the crash. If they had died earlier, then their ashes would have been scattered by the crash.
2. The fact that they used technology to brainwash their son means that they were probably both SciWraiths since WraithWitchs would have used their magic instead. And that in turn implies that Kattan-Tu's mother's magic was probably weaker than was normal for a female Wraith (otherwise she wouldn't have joined the SciWraiths).

   One fact that ISN'T known about these Dire Wraiths is their gender. Was Wenden Kattan-Tu's father and Marag-Tu his mother? Or was Wenden the mother and Marag-Tu the father? Only Bill Mantlo knows for sure and, sadly, he can't tell us.

   Also, I remember reading (somewhere) that Kattan-Tu's parents were named Wenden-Tu and Marag-Tu. Apparently, whoever wrote that assumed that the "-Tu" suffix was the Dire Wraith version of a family name but this seems to me to be pure speculation. So, sure, it could be true but since there's no evidence to confirm it I'm sticking with their names as written.

--Incredible Hulk II#262/2 (fb)

images: (without ads)
Incredible Hulk II#262, page 14, panel 6 (main image)
      page 17, panel 2 (alien infant)
      page 17, panel 4 (human baby)
      page 17, panel 7 ("true" form)
      page 18, panel 4 (rocky red form)
      page 19, panel 1 ("needle-monster")
      page 19, panel 5 ("bird-monster")
      page 20, panel 5 ("snake-monster")
      page 21, panel 5 (Sarkans together)
      page 17, panel 3 (younger Sarkans)
      page 14, panel 7 (older Sarkans)
      page 15, panel 1 (L.A. Valley Clinic)
      page 16, panel 8 (crash)
      page 17, panel 1 (Dire Wraith ashes)

Only Appearance:
Incredible Hulk II#262/2 (August, 1981) - Bill Mantlo & Sal Buscema (writer-storytellers-artist) and Al Milgrom (editor)

Last updated: 07/14/15

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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